Sales Boost: Step 5

Target this niche: SALONS & SPAS

With rising employment and a growing number of businesses, the salon and spa industry presents abundant sales opportunities.

Bling, Barbershops & Beyond

Howard Potter’s distributorship has cracked the $1 million in revenue mark and hasn’t looked back. One way the owner of A&P Master Images (asi/702505) has built that success is by providing creatively branded products and apparel to more than 15 salons and spas. “It’s often a female clientele, so a lot of times they like items with ‘bling,’” Potter says.

For one hair salon, Potter delivered high-end crewneck sweatshirts decorated with rhinestones or glitter screen-print ink. His in-house decorating department has also screen-printed the salon’s branding on smocks worn by clients. “Even for just a dozen of the nicer items, it’s a $300 to $400 order – that adds up,” he says.

Meanwhile, for a spa’s staffers, Potter has provided moisture-wicking polos with left-chest logo embroidery, as well as T-shirts with messaging that played off the “Keep Calm” tees popular at retail. Sold to the spa’s clients, the shirts – pink and purple for women, blue and charcoal for men – suggested that getting a massage at the spa helped keep the wearer relaxed and peaceful. “We’ve done dozens of pieces for them,” says Potter, “and it’s starting to take off even more now.”

Additionally, Potter encourages reps to remember that barbershops can make excellent clients too. Through the first eight months of 2014, A&P sold more than $6,000 worth of branded apparel to a hip barbershop that often has a DJ spinning records to entertain patrons. To complement this cool urban image, Potter has provided T-shirts, snapback caps, letterman jackets, tank tops and hooded sweatshirts. “They’re building a clothing line that enhances the shop’s brand,” he says. “They’re a brand people want to wear, and that helps their barber business.”